Tributes paid to couple who lost their lives in Kirton blaze horror as coroner rules deaths were unlawful

Billy and Jay
Billy and Jay

Tributes have been paid to a couple who lost their lives in a huge fire at a house in Kirton after an inquest returned verdicts that they had been unlawfully killed.

Jay Edmunds and Billy Hicks died after fire ripped through the property they lived in in the early hours of New Year’s Day.

Jay Edmunds

Jay Edmunds

Ashley Martin, from Luton, also died in the fire. The inquest recorded a verdict of suicide in his case, and police investigating the incident have said he would have been facing a murder charge had he survived.

The officer in charge of the investigation said although they could not be certain what happened in the bedroom where the fire started, the evidence suggests Ashley Martin was responsible for the tragedy.

Evidence showed Billy Hicks had suffered a stab wound, but all three died from inhalation of smoke and products of combustion, area coroner Paul Smith heard during the inquest hearing.

After the inquest on Tuesday, both Jay and Billy’s families issued statements through Lincolnshire Police.

Billy Hicks

Billy Hicks

Jay’s family said: “Jay was brutally murdered by a person that we trusted. We will never begin to understand why.

“We are shocked and horrified by the events that have taken her from us.

“We miss her every minute of every day, our hearts are broken and our life will never be the same.

“Jay was vibrant, funny, loving & beautiful. She amused us daily.

“Her friends & family are all devastated by her loss.”

Billy’s family said he was “was one of a kind, gentle, loving, caring and considerate”.

“He had the ability to make anyone he met smile, and was liked by everyone.

“He had his whole life in front of him which was cruelly taken away without a thought for his family or his friends.

“We miss him so, so much and every day is a struggle without him – life will never be the same again.

“We would like to thank all those involved in this investigation from start to finish.”